Following up our music production articles today we are featuring top producer Richard Dinsdale (Toolroom, Strictly Rhythm, Spinnin…) who is talking about remixing. Remember that if you have something you want to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. How to Remix? By Richard Dinsdale:
Step 1. Select the right track.
This is very important; since this is a derivative art form (you can’t remix a nonexistent piece of music). You’ll need, at the very least, a complete mixdown of the original track (taken directly from the CD). If you can get separate tracks (especially for vocals) directly from the recording artist, it will make your remix better, and your work easier.
Step 2. Dissect the track.
Take the materials you have to work with, and do most of the slicing and trimming up front. You can do this in an audio editing suite, especially when it comes to cutting loops (see below for tips and links). Make sure if you are working with a vocal remix you have all your vocal layered out and easy visible to the eye as sometimes you can miss parts of the vocal or miss a section you really like from listening earlier on.
Step 3. Experiment!
Make sure when doing a remix you do it in your own style as this is why the label manager/A&R has employed you to do the remix. I also find this a little quicker in getting started on the remix as you have a formula already ready to go.Try all the available effects in your DAW/audio editing software to see how they will sound on each part! There are plenty of things to choose from … delay, phaser, chorus, flanger, filters and other eq, reverb, amplitude modulation, ring modulation, frequency modulation, timestretching, pitch shifting or correction, vocoding and more.
Step 4. Reconstruct (remix).
First, set the BPM (tempo – beats per minute) and time signature (usually 4/4 in popular music) in your looping software. Next, import your loops. Once they are imported and time corrected, you should be able to choose any tempo you like, with very little loss of quality. (Note: If you are using Ableton Live, be sure to select a time correction method that jives with your sample type. Beat mode is fine for drums, but may not be great for vocals. Texture mode is fine for many samples, but will often affect the pitch of the sample slightly. Tone is usually good all around.) Now you can start to reconstruct the track. A safe and easy way would be to follow the form of the original (intro, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, and chorus) but you can also completely change it and make it your own and usually this doesn’t apply if you’re making and underground remix.
Step 5. Don’t Rush.
Take your time with the remix and don’t rush it as i find if i work on a track for 3/4 days you get bored of hearing the same loop so take a break and go back to it in maybe a day. Listening to your mix quietly because it’s very hard to make sure all your sounds are the right level when the track is being played loud in either your earphones or main speakers.
Step 6. Export your creation (mastering).
When your remix now has a start and finish, and you are satisfied with it, you should export. Save all or export to a WAV or AIFF file (don’t encode an MP3 just yet). Load this into your audio editing software, and normalize it to 99%. This will ensure that your levels at their highest point reach almost the maximum volume. In addition, you can make your remix seem louder by applying a compressor effect to it before normalizing. Sometimes independent underground record labels like the artist/s to send over a mastered version of their mix to compare with the one the record label has mastered but don’t do this until you received full payment from the record label.
Listen to one of his latest tracks: Aly-Us – Follow Me (Richard Dinsdale Remix) – Strictly Rhythm